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Full paper / A Case for Play: Immersive Storytelling of Rohingya Refugee Experience
- Abstract: The displacement of refugees from their natural homes have caused violence and estrangement all over the world, to the detriment of victims who live in unbearable conditions outside their homelands. There’s misunderstanding amongst hosts and Western media that see refugees as destructive hoarders of resource. Educating two sides of a refugee-host divide have applied immersive filmmaking following the cinematic 2D approach, portraying static scenes with narratively voiced works that try to put us inside refugee camps to elicit empathy. Instead of this approach, we embarked on a refugee-centered journey-based approach to show the daily lives of Rohingya refugees in Balukhali, Bangladesh using dynamic movements in VR space, spatial audio that surprise, and collaborative filmmaking that involves the participants empowering themselves using 360 camera and phone as tools for exploration. Instead of investigating the hardships of refugees from a Western perspective, we enabled a boy and his family in the refugee camp to create a visual experience that represent their lives. The interactive VR film is an empowerment tool to enable self-expression in a corner of the world that have become used to being the observed as opposed to the observer, taking advantage of VR as a medium for immersion and capability to surprise.
- Biography: RAY LC’s practice creates interaction environments for building bonds between human communities, and between humans and machines. He takes perspectives from his own research in neuroscience (pubs in Nature Comm, J. Neurosci, J. Neurophys) and in HCI (pubs in CHI, DIS, HRI, TEI, Frontiers, etc) in his artistic practice, with notable exhibitions at BankArt, 1_Wall, Process Space LMCC, New York Hall of Science Residency, Saari Residency, Kyoto Design Lab Residency, Kiyoshi Saito Museum, ICRA Elektra Montreal, ArtLab Lahore, Ars Electronica Linz, NeON Digital Arts Festival, New Museum, CICA Museum, NYC Short Documentary Film Festival, Burning Man, NeurIPS, Deconstrukt, Angewandte Festival, University of Graz, Elektron Tallinn, Floating Projects, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, Goethe Institute, Osage Gallery, Hong Kong Arts Centre. RAY comes from Cal Berkeley EECS-Math (BS), UCLA Neuroscience (PHD), Parsons School of Design (MFA). His current work uses artistic interventions to probe our spatial relationship with machines.
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